Previews

Previewing Mercy Street Season 2

Photo Courtesy of PBS

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

PBS kicks off the second season of its Civil War-era hospital drama, Mercy Street, Sunday night, picking up right where Season 1 ended.

Photo Courtesy of PBS

Season 2 continues to explore life in the chaotic city of Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of the Mansion House staff, including Dr. Foster (Josh Radnor) and Nurse Mary (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who are navigating what they are to each other, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family, and the changing world of the newly freed African Americans, who confront horrific living conditions and disease in a contraband camp and get a glimpse of freedom.

Photo Courtesy of PBS

The second season will also take the viewer closer to the war and into the halls of Confederate power as the war intensifies, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam. New characters include:

Photo Courtesy of PBS

  • Charlotte Jenkins, a composite of historical figures, including Harriet Jacobs, played by Patina Miller (Madam Secretary), is an educated contraband abolitionist activist and former slave who offers education to other former slaves and helps with the sick who have contracted smallpox.
  • Allan Pinkerton (Brían F. O’Byrne in a major change of pace after Aquarius), the head of the Union Intelligence Service, is based on the real Allan Pinkerton, a Scottish emigrant and abolitionist who founded America’s first detective agency and successfully brought down some of the country’s most ruthless criminals.
  • Captain Lance Van Der Berg (Chris Wood of Supergirl and The Vampire Diaries) is a Union captain lodging at the Green home who strikes up a budding romance with Alice Green (AnnaSophia Robb), who has ulterior motives for the courtship.

As y’all know, medical dramas are not generally my thing, and this one predates anesthesia and sterilization, so my queasy factor is pretty off the charts during the medical procedures. That said, I marathoned the first season after banking them last winter, and found it a compelling story with a ridiculously talented cast that also includes some of our TV Goodness favorites like Gary Cole and Luke Macfarlane as well as the brilliant Donna Murphy. I look forward to catching up with them again.

Mercy Street season 2 starts Sunday night at 8/7c on PBS. Here are a few sneak peeks and a recap of the first season.

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